A Fresh Perspective on Marketing
You need my 10 Tips to Grow Your List.
In this PDF download, you will:
+ Learn 10 ways you can start growing
your list TODAY that are simple,
effective & FREE!
+ Plus get more bright ideas delivered
to your inbox each week with my
Marketing Monday ezine.
I had a great conversation with a client last week about the best way to take advantage of the New Year in your biz — especially when your marketing has stalled. Business cards lay dormant at the bottom of you bag. Phone calls and emails unreturned and almost forgotten and it’s been weeks since you’ve been in the office for a full-day. Sound familiar? After a busy fall and hectic holiday season it can often feel like you’re back at work for the first time in ages when January finally rolls around.
A huge enemy of the small business owners is loss of momentum. But how do you keep on trucking when it’s been a while since you’ve actively marketed your business?
Here’s my simple trick:
Use January as your time for reconnection.
You see pretty much everyone had crazy busy falls and hectic holiday seasons. So instead of beating yourself up for not following-up sooner or being more proactive marketing your business, use January for what it is meant to be.
A fresh start.
A New Year.
And a great opportunity to reach out to your contacts and leads and reconnect.
I think you can use “Happy New Year” or “Let’s Reconnect” as your reason for emailing or calling very easily through the end of January. But if you’re calling to wish me a happy new year and check-in in April then we really need to talk!
Your Marketing Monday assignment is to take advantage of the opening the season has given you and spend the rest of the month reconnecting with your peeps!
Question for you: Is your business making the difference that you thought it would make?
Most passionate, socially conscious entrepreneurs go into business because they want to help others and earn a great living doing what they love.
Unfortunately, many passion-driven, mission-centered business owners find themselves under-earning and struggling to serve the clients and customers they are meant to serve.
Women-owned businesses typically struggle to generate enough profits to actually make a difference. In the grand scheme of things, unprofitable businesses really don’t matter very much. And if your cashflow is low, it’s nearly impossible to give back to others and make a massive impact in the world.
According to the US Economics and Statistics Administration, the average sales generated by women-owned businesses is only 25% of the average sales generated by men-owned businesses and self-employed women typically earn 55% of what self-employed men earn.
As a woman entrepreneur, in order to create powerful change in your life, in your community, and in the world around you, you must increase your profits and your impact!
That’s why I’ve joined forces with 17 powerful mission-centered women entrepreneurs to walk you step-by-step through each stage of creating a profitable and sustainable business that matters during the BrightFire Profits and Impact Virtual Intensive–January 14, 2013 through January 18, 2013.
Register for free here
Here’s just a few of our expert speakers: Kristi Lynn Olson, Claudia Sandman, Laura Kessler, Alicia Rittenhouse, Crystal Gifford, J. Lee Galanti, Tonya R. Taylor, Odette Laurie, Kristin Thompson, Michele Scism, Aprille Trupiano, Kyra Howell, Carolyn Herfurth, Amethyst Wildfyre, Erika Watson, Deborah Genovesi, and of course, yours truly.
You’ll learn how to Exponentially Increase Your Profits, Serve More of the Clients You are Meant to Serve, and Make a Massive Positive Impact on the World!
And guess what–your registration is completely F*REE! Join us for the Profits and Impact Virtual Intensive now =>
During the Profits and Impact Virtual Intensive you’ll learn:
Plus so much more!
Each speaker was “hand-chosen” for their unique expertise in building a highly profitable business that makes a massive impact.
You’ll learn the quickest, most effective strategies for marketing your mission, serving more clients, earning more income, and making a bigger difference!
It’s official! The New Year is here whether we are ready or not.
For those of you like me who are back to work for the first day after the holiday break, I hope you are well rested and ready to do great things in 2013.
Today’s Marketing Monday is a video tip about a practice I adopted a few years ago and has made a big difference in my ability to stay on track as the year progresses and the energy from the New Year wans. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch and adopt this simple practice as well.
Cross Planning of Your List
Hard to believe but my Napkin Note Biz Plan virtual workshop + planning retreat is only a week away! If you’re looking for a surefire system to create a business and marketing plan that actually works and honors you, I hope you’ll consider joining me and the fabulous folks who have already registered for a transformative day of planning and action. Learn more and register here =>http://brightideasforbiz.com/grow-your-biz-2013/
I hope you had a nice holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. I spent much of the last week on the couch suffering from a bad back and cold and I’m very much looking forward to starting fresh in 2013.
But before we move forward it is important to look back. I’ve filmed a lot of video tips for you this year and thought the perfect way to end the year would be by sharing the top five again.
And as you prep for 2013 in your business, remember I’m hosting a virtual planning retreat and workshop on January 14 where I’ll share with you my brand new Napkin Note Marketing Plan system. I hope you can join me that day and learn the same secrets that have taken my biz past the six-figure mark. >> Get more details here
It seems like everyone has been talking about marketing and business plans for the last month. The New Year is a popular time to pause and review your triumphs and failures over the past year. It’s also the time of year that most business owners sit down and establish business goals for the upcoming year, but unfortunately too often that is where the planning ends.
During this crazy time around the holiday season, much of the business community actually slows down since it is accepted to do so during this time of year. I encourage you to take advantage of this lull and make an appointment with yourself before the end of the year to focus on your business one morning or afternoon. I suggest getting out of your office, but if you must stay there turn off your phone and close the email so you are free of distractions.
Here are a few of the benefits you will receive by working on your business and marketing plan:
You dedicate time to work on your business instead of in it If you’re not familiar with this concept you need to read Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited. It will open your eyes. More than likely you spend most of your time as a technician working in your business instead of as an entrepreneur controlling the big vision and working on your business.
You get clear on your business goals How can you steer the ship if you have no idea where it is headed? Goal setting is an essential part of building your marketing plan. Once you have the goals in place, your marketing plan is all about finding ways to achieve those goals.
You think through the tough issues Running a business is not easy and as a small business owner wearing multiple hats you don’t always have the luxury of time when you need to make touch decisions. The process of developing your business and marketing plan forces you to answer questions about your products and services, your competition, target market and your brand. Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will make it easier to make tough decisions on a deadline.
You don’t need to hesitate when presented with a marketing opportunity To effectively market your business you need to always be on the lookout for new or unusual marketing opportunities. Another benefit of working on your marketing plan is having done all the hard work at the beginning of the year. This means you will be able to more easily take advantage of opportunities as they arise. You’ll be prepared to respond and will have a better sense if it is a worthwhile opportunity.
You plan so you can be flexible The ultimate benefit to creating a marketing plan for your small business is it affords you the luxury of being flexible. If you have a marketing plan in place it is easier to track results and know if promotions are working. If you are not seeing the results you want, you can easily change your approach and try something new.
As you can see there are many business benefits to developing a marketing plan. But it all starts with you. If you want further help, consider doing a Marketing Tune-Up with me to get personalized attention on your business.
Always have a client attraction plan, even when you’re busy
Don’t wait until you NEED clients to start trying to attract them…it can be too late by then.
You always want new potential clients coming your way. This is why consistent marketing is key to breaking your biz out of feast or famine mode. Most client relationships take months to nurture. So the prospect you meet today could become a customer six months or more from now.
Remember if you’re plate is full, you can put new clients on a waiting list (and ironically, a waiting list can make you seem more attractive to your prospect)…or, if applicable, you can put together a group where you can serve a number of clients at once.
Regardless, NEVER stop marketing even when you are super busy.
Hi everyone — I LOVE Marketing Monday and using Monday’s as the day to focus on my business have been a big part of my own success and I know my loyal readers look forward to my tips each week but I’m ready to shake things up at bit. So instead of just a weekly video, I’m going to play with some other mediums as well. The important thing is you’ll still get a weekly tip from moi, but some weeks it might be a video, others it will be a quick tip, article or Q&A.
This week is our first Q&A! And if you have a burning question you’d like me to answer on this blog you can do so here.
“How can I put my toe in the water regarding social media?” – Kim, Consultant
Kim, thanks for your question. I really like it because social media can be scary sometimes. There’s a lot to it and it can be a very big time sink. So, if you haven’t gotten in there yet, being a little hesitant is fine. I’d rather see you do it well than waste your time. And contrary to popular belief not everyone is on social media (just ask my parents!).
Not being an early adapter to everything is totally fine. When you look at the social media options that are out there, you’ll find there are dozens of different networks that are niche specific. For example, say if you’re a photographer or if you run a knitting business or perhaps lead kayaking trips, there are specific social networks for people interested in those activities. To put your toe in effectively, you need to know who you’re talking to (your target market) and where they are most likely already hanging out online.
When getting started, I suggest you only pay attention to what I call the “big four.” But at the same time, don’t dive into all of them at once. Pick one and get comfortable before adding another network to the mix. The big four are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. People ask my why I haven’t changed it to the “big six” and added Google+ and Pinterest to the mix. Here’s why: like you I am not an early adopter. I do not have the time to make my business a guinea pig by testing out new networks that may be extinct before they really matter. Instead, I rely on proven marketing methods that I know work. We all remember that there was MySpace and now there’s Facebook. Social media moves and changes.
To get started, pick the one network where you think your clients are already hanging out. My advice is someone who has a professional service business — a coach or someone who focuses more B-to-B should start with LinkedIn. It’s a strictly professional space, like one of those after hours networking events that’s running 24/7.
If you are in a more consumer driven company, Facebook is a great option. It doesn’t mean that if you’re in a professional service you shouldn’t be on Facebook, it’s just not the best place to start. What I like about Facebook is I find it very user-friendly and there are a lot of great people on there who are talking about business and other things. What I don’t like about Facebook is that it is where everyone in your life comes together and mixes. Not only do I have business colleagues connected to me on Facebook, but I also have my young cousins, other family members and high school and college friends all in once place. Friends lists and the privacy features are huge if your mix of Facebook friends start to resemble a really bad reunion.
The bottom line when you are exploring social media is don’t do it all at once. Start small. Pick one network to get started, have a goal for how it will help your business, and dive in slowly. Don’t do everything at once, because you’ll quickly be overwhelmed and that’s not the point of adding social media to your marketing mix.
Do you have questions about your marketing strategy? Wonder if you are headed in the right direction? Ever wish you had your own Marketing Director you could brainstorm with and bounce ideas off? You are not alone. Most small business owners do and I’d like to help. Ask me your questions about marketing and get the answers you need to succeed.
If you have a question about marketing you’d like Ally to answer, click here to fill out her online form.
Today’s Marketing Monday tip is extra special not only because it is a good reminder that we should always be showing off our work but because my guest stepped up to a challenge I put out there! Please welcome Diane Cook Johnson from Soft Touch Farm as she share’s her tip this Monday.
I’m prepping for the holiday and my 3-day work week by sharing with you a skill I have developed that has nothing to do with marketing but everything to do with my business being successful. Watch today’s Marketing Monday video to learn more…
You can learn more about the book, Kindness@Work, I mention in this video by visiting the website www.kindnessatworkebook.com.
Your relationship with your clients is one of both necessity and pleasure. You need clients to stay in business. And hopefully, you enjoy connecting with your clients. To build a good rapport and maintain trust, it takes a plan and ongoing strategies for success. Here are a few ideas you can use to build and maintain a positive relationship with your clients.
Communicate with them often
Now maybe you already do this. Maybe your customers receive regular emails from you. However, what you say in these emails is important. If each and every email you send is a promotion or asking for a sale then they’re going to stop reading your emails pretty darn quickly. They’re going to lose trust in you.
On the other hand, if your email communications are chock full of valuable information, value, and benefit then you’re building trust. Customers will look forward to our information.
The same goes for social networking. You can communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Instead of posting promo link after promo link, post real, human interactions.
Prove you’re worth trusting
If you are a service provider then it’s imperative to post samples of your work on your website. And if you’re a service provider, retailer or even an information marketer or affiliate marketer you can provide case studies to demonstrate the value of your products or services. This provides credibility and it makes it easier to trust you as a provider and business owner.
Give away things for free
Free giveaways can be used as a marketing and relationship building tactic on many levels. For new prospects you build trust by providing valuable information and free downloadable information. For current customers, they love freebies too. You can give away reports, videos, audios and ebooks. You can even take it a step further and give current customers a coupon or freebie.
For example, current customers can be offered a free report as a loyalty thank you. You can even start a loyalty program that awards customers with points or dollars they can use toward future purchases.
Transparency is a word that’s thrown around a lot lately. It essentially means that you don’t hide any of your polices or procedures. You’re 100% up front about who you are and what you’re about. This may mean making sure you have a double opt in for your email signup, a privacy statement that’s easy to find, contact information and even a FAQ page. Transparency helps customers and clients trust you.
Depending on the size of your client base and the nature of your business, sending clients and customers a personal message is a great way to build rapport. Send cards and gifts during the holidays if it fits your budget. Or just send a note now and again with some helpful information.
There are many ways to build rapport and trust with your clients. Begin by taking a look at your clients and what you can do for them. Then set about to create an ongoing plan to connect and build trust. A little planning and action can go a long way to creating a business that is successful today and ten years from now.
Hi there! I’m Ally Piper — Ideapreneur™ + Marketing Director for nonprofits and small businesses on a mission. I’m all about bringing big picture marketing into focus by helping my clients turn napkin notes into marketing plans and take advantage of high-impact, low-cost marketing methods to get noticed. Read this blog to learn from me and other biz experts and get inspired!
Return to top of page
Copyright © 2013 Ally Piper & Brighteyes Creative LLC · All Rights Reserved.